Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Watt

Second Advisor

Dr. Federico Guerra

Third Advisor

Dr. Hilda Silva


The purpose of this study was to examine college students’ experiences of racial microaggressions at a Hispanic serving institution. The participants were undergraduate and graduate students from a large higher education research institution in South Texas. The study had a qualitative approach with a two-step process of Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 of the study consisted of a participant selection survey sent to students via e-mail to obtain their experiences of racial microaggressions. In Phase 2, three focus groups were the means used to collect data. The findings suggested that there were experiences of racial microaggressions at the Hispanic serving institution. The microaggressions themes were classic microaggressions, language microaggressions, and belonging microaggressions. This study showed that the positionality of the racial microaggressions, whether from peers, staff members, or faculty members, had an effect on student persistence and retention. The study includes the next steps for future research, implications, and limitations.


Copyright 2020 Alexandra E. Hughes. All Rights Reserved.